They just don't make them like they used to

I happen to live in Southern California, and most of my neighbors come directly from Mexico. I am first generation American, from a Nicaraguan family. The cultural tastes are very different between the two. Even around my friends  I often find myself the only person with mildly tropical musical tastes. Around my particular neighborhood, the Ranchero music seems to be on non stop, and its indicative of a more rural/farmland/country style musically. I simply can't stand it, but only because I have never developed a taste for country music. It's just not what people listen to where I'm from. 
The music I grew up with was more orchestral, a latin big band of sorts. Its called Salsa, and I can't help but have an appreciation for it because I pretty much grew up listening to it everyday. It's lyrically playful and musically complex and if you have an ear that can sort out all the different instruments working together it's hard not to marvel at it. Despite being the first American born citizen in my family, I still notice the roots dug deep into my ears from time to time. I wonder if it's called Salsa because it is a mix of many instruments and styles intended to get people on the dance floor, and keep them there. 
After being bombarded by country music on either side of my house, there are days like today where I just have to remind myself of what I recall fondly as Latin music. I may be posting more songs on here in the future if the mood strikes me, and it probably will. Here's another one for the road.


Serge said...

I empathize. Hard. I have no reason to apologize for the bullshit music that comes out of the country of my ancestors, because I don't really feel any connection to that type of music. At least not anymore.

I don't even feel like trying to defend it on the basis that it's not all the same, because to your ears it's all indistinguishable, regardless of genre. Shit, it's indistinguishable to me, and I grew up with that bullshit.

But I swear to Jesus titty-fucking Christ, if those fucking beaners across the street from my house don't turn that shit off right now imma call the muthafuckin sheriff of Marycopa county, so help me science!

Ahem, sorry.

So yeah, anyway, In addition to that bullshit banda fad which refuses to go away, I was also exposed to similar music as the one you describe. I think most Mexican Americans my age were. Every new year's, christmas, reventón, quinceañera, birthday, soiree, shindig, and hootenanny included Sonora Dinamita, Wilfredo Vargas, and various other cumbias and merengues, in addition to the aforementioned banda and ranchera.

Shit was danceable, not that I danced, but still. I developed an ear and appreciation for it, and in comparison to modern styles like reggaeton, it actually required a some level of proficiency in music. It's fair to say that the tragedy of modern latin music can't be exclusively chalked up to the Mexican currents. It pretty much all went downhill. There really was nowhere else to go, since music styles that evolve, evolve themselves out of existence. That's why the bullshit I grew with hasn't much changed, why should it? People still buy it.

At least we still have the internet to remind us of a better time. Who cares if the rest of the idiocracy doesn't enjoy it, so long as there are few of us out there who do.

SpookyDonkey said...

thanks for that hefty comment man. im glad you understand im not flaming all country music, it just isn't for me.
and man, reggaton has set latin music back like a decade, its just so trite and resembles mainstream american rap music far too much. its all about how easy the signer can take your girlfriend. why would i root for this guy? let alone buy his album? the good artists would inspire you to go to do some seducing, not do it to you instead.
i plan on doing a post on chiptune music soon, so stick around for that one.

hope you are doing well serge, and when you make a blog/site plz let us know so we can plug it shamelessly. <3